Ahead of the 2019/2020 season, Archie Griffin, Gabriel Hamer-Webb, Xavier Hastings, Nahum Merigan, Max Ojomoh and George Worboys have all agreed senior Academy contracts forming part of the Club's commitment to deliver a 50% homegrown squad by 2023. As part of a weekly series, we are taking a closer look at the latest intake.
NAME – XAVIER HASTINGS
AGE – 18
POSITION – FLANKER
PREVIOUS CLUB / SCHOOL – SALISBURY RFC / BISHOP WORDSWORTH'S SCHOOL
WHERE DID YOUR RUGBY JOURNEY START?
I started playing rugby at Salisbury RFC, my local team when I was six and played all the way through the age groups and I made my senior debut at the start of 2019. I played school rugby at Bishop’s Wordsworth too, but I have only ever played for one club team.
Which player did you look up to growing up?
Richard Hill – he went to my school and was from Salisbury, he played in the same position as I do. His work ethic on the park, he never stopped running. His physicality and his general skill set were impressive and I felt as though he is the sort of player that glued a team together which are very admirable qualities."
REFLECTION ON 2018/19
At school I was part of the first team squad, and we managed to get to the Natwest Cup Final, so I got to play at Twickenham with my school which was pretty special. It is nice to be able to compete with all the big public schools.
On Bath Rugby U18s
With the Bath Rugby U18s season, I think finishing third overall as a big success. We had some opportunities in the season that could have been different but overall it was a really positive season. We played some good rugby, the lads really came together well.
Playing at stadiums like Allianz Park was really exciting. Every time you get to play at grounds like the Rec and Allianz Park it’s always a special occasion.
WHO ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO LEARNING FRom?
I look up to Francois Louw. If I had to base my game on anyone in the current squad it would have to be him. Just having the opportunity to actually train with him and learn from him is going to be massive.
It is going to be a huge opportunity for me as a back row player. The back row at Bath is truly an international standard. Francois Louw and Taulupe Faletau have 60+ caps for the Springboks and Wales respectively, Sam Underhill and Mercer with a handful for England. It’s going to be a huge opportunity for me.
It just shows how well the player pathway is doing at Bath Rugby. The opportunities that are there for the lads that come through the system, like me, gives me that focus to say to myself, that can be me in a couple of years time. Miles Reid and Josh Bayliss are doing really well for themselves, so it's going to be learn from them too.
ON SIGNING SENIOR ACADEMY CONTRACT TERMS
I was over the moon when I found out. It was a surprise to me as I had only had one season of U18 rugby under my belt, but with a lot of help from the coaches I have really developed my game over the year. The thought of achieving a childhood dream is really exciting and I am looking forward to getting started.
WHAT SKILLS WILL YOU BRING TO THE SQUAD
I am a positive player; I am resilient when things are going wrong on the pitch. I feel that I am an intelligent rugby player – I only moved to the back row two years ago so I am still learning my trade.
Max Ojomoh on Xavier Hastings
He is such a hard-working player. He has gone from strength-to-strength in the past year. His engine is insane and his ability to get over the ball and turnover is impeccable. He is exactly like Francois Louw and how he is defensively solid, Xavier is such a nuisance to play against.